Keeping your teeth strong and healthy is an important part of living a full life, however, this is only part of the process. In addition to your teeth, it is important to pay attention to your mouth in general. It is not only cavities and gum disease that we should be worried about, in other words, but also things like oral cancer. In order to help accomplish the goal of keeping your mouth healthy and recognizing the disease as quickly as possible, there are a few things that you should do. At The Center for Implant and General Dentistry, we offer oral cancer screenings to our patients, for example, in order to help them stay on top of their oral health and eradicate any problems as quickly as possible.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer out there, and it can affect the tongue, throat, lip, and mouth. In fact, it is more dangerous than brain, cervical, skin, and ovarian cancer. You might be wondering why that is, right? One of the problems with oral cancer is its lack of symptoms. You won’t show any at first, in other words, which means that the earliest stages of the disease can fly right by without you noticing a thing that is off about your oral health. Because of this, oral cancer is mostly not discovered until it has become a more serious problem and is already in advanced stages. That makes it one of the deadliest kinds of cancer.
Oral Cancer ScreeningWhen should I have a cancer screening?
One of the most effective ways to detect oral cancer before it becomes too advanced to fight is by coming in to see us for a cleaning an examination regularly. At every exam we will look for signs of oral cancer and other oral maladies. This helps to detect any potential signs of the disease in its earliest stages and is particularly important because when it is discovered early, the survivability rate for oral cancer is around 90%. It is treatable, in other words, unless it is not discovered until it is far advanced. You should consider visiting us twice a year for a full tissue screening for oral cancer.
Are there any symptoms?
As stated above, oral cancer is usually asymptomatic throughout its first few stages. There are a few things that you can keep in mind, however, and keep an eye out for just in case. If you develop a sore in your mouth, especially one that doesn’t heal and that bleeds easily, you should come to see us. The same is true if the color of your gums or other tissue changes, if your teeth seems to be fitting together in an odd way, if you experience tenderness, numbness, or pain in the lips or mouth, or if you have trouble swallowing, moving your tongue or jaw, or chewing. See us immediately you have any of the above symptoms.
To learn more about oral cancer and to schedule an oral cancer screening, give us a call today at (903) 231-6605!